EDMONTON, ALBERTA — On Feb. 13, the Government of Alberta announced it will commit $58 million to various companies through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) to help advance the circular economy. Among the grant recipients, Sparks Eggs will receive $500,000 to further its $1 million project for transforming food waste into ingredients for pet food and animal feed.

Ten companies have been selected by the ERA and will receive funding through its Circular Economy Challenge. The funds will be sourced from Alberta’s Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund. According to the ERA, the projects are worth $528 million in public and private investments.

“Advancing technology solutions that support a circular economy makes good environmental and economic sense,” said Sonya Savage, minister of environment and protected areas. “Circular Economy Challenge projects supported by the TIER fund will help keep valuable materials in the economy and out of landfills, which drives investment, bolsters economic activity, cuts emissions and creates jobs. It’s a win across the board.”

According to the ERA, the projects are estimated to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 4 million tonnes by 2050. The Circular Economy Project is also expected to create more than 1,800 jobs throughout Alberta and have a $350 million GDP impact on the area by 2050, according to the Government of Alberta.

“A more sustainable, diversified provincial economy requires using our resources more wisely, we need to think about waste as a resource rather than a cost,” said Justin Riemer, chief executive officer, Emissions Reduction Alberta. “This investment in converting waste into other uses is going to make a real difference.”

Founded in 1976, Sparks Eggs is one of the leading suppliers of farm fresh eggs throughout Calgary and Edmonton. A division of Golden Valley Foods Ltd., Sparks Eggs handles about 50% of Alberta’s total egg production and processes eggs from more than 70 producers, according to the company. It currently operates a 37,000-square-foot facility that handles production, grading, packaging and storing, processing at least 1 million eggs daily.

The company’s facility is certified for HACCP, BRC, Start Clean-Stay Clean™, SPCA, Canada Organic and CSI, demonstrating the producer’s commitments to employee safety, animal welfare, food safety and product quality.

The Circular Economy Challenge will support Sparks Eggs’ Inedible Egg Powder Project, in which the company will dehydrate inedible eggs from its facility and transform them into a high-protein powder for use in pet food formulas, as well as animal feed.

According to Sparks Eggs, its Inedible Egg Powder Project will reduce its GHG emissions and reduce food waste.

“Circular Economy Challenge funding will facilitate our company to meet zero-waste and sustainability goals for our food processing facility in Calgary,” said Scott Brookshaw, executive vice president, Sparks Eggs. “We will reduce our GHG emissions and transform our current waste product into a new ingredient for the pet food industry, creating a circular economy and permanent sustainable waste management solution.”  

Read more about sustainability efforts in the pet food and treat industry.